When we think of great comedy duos, a lot of famous names come to mind: Laurel and Hardy; Abbott and Costello; Cheech and Chong; Belushi and Aykroyd; and even Laverne and Shirley. But Hollywood may have another quite bizarre new comedy duo waiting in the wings: Rodman and Kim.
According to an exclusive report by The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox studios bought the rights to a new comedy film called "Diplomats," whose plot is based on NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman’s multiple visits to see his “best friend” Kim Jong Un in the isolated, impoverished and very militarized North Korea, in the name of “hoops diplomacy.”
The movie is in the hands of filmmakers with "buddy comedy" experience. Hot off the recent box office success "Ride Along," which stars rapper Ice Cube and stand-up comic Kevin Hart, director Tim Story has been tapped to direct "Diplomats."
Fox’s Chernin Entertainment, run by namesake Peter Chernin, which is known for its most recent hit, "The Heat," a cop comedy featuring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, will reportedly produce the movie, with Jonathan Abrams developing the script.
The bizarre friendship between the flamboyant Rodman and North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, which began early last year, was mainly the result of a mutual interest: basketball. Like any good friendship, each party brought something to the table. Rodman, a basketball star for the Chicago Bulls and other teams and one of the best rebounders in NBA history, brought his experience to the sport. He was also notorious for his bizarre behavior, including kicking photographers, dying his Afro in a rainbow of colors, wearing dresses and makeup in public, and crying effusively on TV talk shows.
Kim, on the other hand, provided Rodman with an expensive, highly controversial, vacation to North Korea, placing the country’s limited resources at their disposal.
A crew of basketball players from the Harlem Globetrotters and a crew with Vice, an Americans news website, went along with Rodman during his first visit. For Rodman, basketball diplomacy quickly turned into friendship, which involved him returning to the isolated North Asian country two more times, culminating in a basketball game between the North Korean national team and some former NBA "all-stars" to celebrate the North Korean leader’s birthday.
Now, the upcoming Hollywood treatment of this new "odd couple" will play off the obvious differences between the 5-foot-6 Kim and the 6-foot-7 Rodman. During his first visit, Rodman had this to say about the North Korean dictator: “His country likes him -- not like him, love him, love him… Guess what, I love him. The guy’s really awesome.”